The sweetest Christmas: Annie Bell’s redcurrant caves recipe

In Sweden these are known as hallongrottor: a delicate shortbread, traditionally filled with lingonberry. You can use any jam, but cranberry and redcurrant will stand in well.

Redcurrant caves
Ellis Parrinder


150g unsalted butter, cubed
75g icing sugar, sifted
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
25g cornflour, sifted
150g plain flour, sifted
1 tbsp redcurrant jelly, worked until smooth

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Cream the butter, icing sugar and lemon zest together in a food processor, then add the cornflour and flour. You should have a soft squidgy dough.
  2. Arrange 12 paper cases in a fairy-cake tray. Divide the dough into 12 (about 30g each) and roll into balls. Using your index finger indent a shallow hole in each one, holding it in your palm.
  3. Place these hole-up in the baking cases, gently pressing them on to the base to steady them. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly coloured, then remove and leave them to cool.
  4. Drop a little jam into the middle of each cake to fill the ‘caves’, and lightly dust with icing sugar using a tea strainer. Set aside for an hour or two for the jam to set a little. If you like, you can now peel off the paper. The cakes will keep well for up to a week in a sealed container.

Food styling: Sarah Hardy. Prop styling: Max Robinson